It’s a blustery Thursday afternoon in South Philadelphia, and Justin Jain is becoming Pete Buttigieg. The out actor looks and sounds nothing like the openly gay, dark-horse presidential candidate, but he works prodigiously to adopt Buttigieg’s Midwestern mannerisms and homespun charm.

Sasha Velour, who won the crown on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in Season 9, will present her new show, “Smoke & Mirrors,” on Nov. 12 at the Merriam Theater. The production combines drag, video and magic as the performer lip-syncs to songs, including Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” Judy Garland’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” — with real rain no less — and Celine Dion’s “I’m Alive.” She was touched to have her act described as, “being like bringing paintings to life.”

Nonbinary actor and artist Bailey Roper doesn’t remember a time when they weren’t performing. Their love of the stage brought them to Philadelphia, where they studied at the University of the Arts. After graduation, Bailey put down roots in Philly, and they are currently appearing in the Arden Theatre Company’s production of “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

Tony Award-winning stage and screen actress, Bebe Neuwirth (“A Chorus Line,” “Chicago,” “Cheers” and “Frasier”) is coming to the stage in Philadelphia to star in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s season opener, “A Small Fire,” through Nov. 10.

A mainstay on Philadelphia stages, Keith Conallen is known for playing edgy, daring roles with independent theater companies such as Azuka, Theatre Exile and the now (sadly) defunct Flashpoint Theater Company. But Conallen's zealous collaboration with the Wilma Theater and Blanka Zizka's HotHouse ensemble has given him a spiritual home. He’ll tackle his latest role in the Wilma’s production of “Dance Nation” by Clare Barron, opening Oct. 22.

As a kid growing up in South Jersey, Dane Eissler wasn’t much interested in theater. Shy and quiet, he found himself drawn to visual arts, which allowed him to express his creativity without performing in front of large crowds.

A musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker’s timeless exploration of Black queer love, took top honors at the 2019 Barrymore Awards, which recognizes excellence in Philadelphia theater. The ceremony took place on Oct. 14 at the Bok Building in South Philadelphia.

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